U.S. Navy Denies Chinese Forces Chased Away Destroyer Out of the South China Sea | Beaufort County Now | China's assertion that its military pursued an American destroyer out of the South China Sea has been refuted by the US Navy.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette. The author of this post is LifeZette Staff.

    The declaration comes after one of the Navy's guided-missile destroyers conducted a freedom-of-navigation mission in the South China Sea on Monday. According to a Reuters story, the People's Liberation Army said it "drove away" the USS Benfold (DDG-65).

    "The [People's Republic of China]'s statement about this mission is false. USS Benfold conducted this FONOP in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in international waters," U.S. 7th Fleet said in a news release. "The operation reflects our commitment to uphold freedom of navigation and lawful uses of the sea as a principle. The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as USS Benfold did here. Nothing PRC says otherwise will deter us."

    Benfold sailed close the Paracel Islands, prompting China's claim. All three countries have laid claims to the islands: China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Beijing claims a territorial straight line around the Paracel Islands, considering the seas between the islands to be Chinese property rather than international waters. The baseline claim has been put to the test multiple times in the past by the United States.

    "The PLA(N)'s statement is the latest in a long string of PRC actions to misrepresent lawful U.S. maritime operations and assert its excessive and illegitimate maritime claims at the expense of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea," the 7th Fleet release reads. "The PRC's behavior stands in contrast to the United States' adherence to international law and our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. All nations, large and small, should be secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and able to pursue economic growth consistent with accepted international rules and norms."

    During a press conference on Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry slammed the FONOP.

    According to a transcript of the press conference, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for China's foreign ministry said, "China will continue to firmly defend its sovereignty, rights, interests and security in accordance with law, firmly protect the friendly, cooperative relations with regional countries, and firmly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea."

    When China's navy claimed it pursued another destroyer out of the South China Sea in May, the US Navy refuted the report. Near the Paracel Islands, the USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) also conducted a FONOP.

    "The PLA's statement about this mission is false. USS Curtis Wilbur was not "expelled" from any nation's territory. USS Curtis Wilbur conducted this FONOP in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in international waters," 7th Fleet said at the time.
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( July 14th, 2021 @ 1:49 pm )
All these protestations from the Chinese are for home dissemination and do not need to be based on fact. Just one more way to "inspire" the proletariat to hate America.

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